ILA Labor Negotiations

The International Longshoremen’s Association and its employers at U.S. East and Gulf Coast ports are discussing an early, long-term extension of their coastwide contract that expires Sept. 30, 2018. The goal: an agreement that spares cargo interests an experience such as the one they endured during the epic 2012-13 bargaining between the ILA and United States Maritime Alliance. Those negotiations yielded a six-year contract, but only after nearly a year of rocky negotiations and repeated strike threats.

Special Coverage

Union president Harold Daggett takes to Facebook in advance of February meetings.

News & Analysis

A number of issues on both coasts stand in the way of early contract talks between dockworkers and employers that could usher in an unprecedented period of labor peace at U.S. ports.
10 Aug 2016
The International Longshoremen’s Association won't discuss a contract extension until disputes over the current contract are resolved.
ILA dockworkers at the Port of Baltimore
27 Feb 2013
The International Longshoremen’s Association and employers have set a new March 8 deadline for negotiation of local contracts that supplement a coastwide master agreement covering dockworkers at East and Gulf Coast ports.
15 Feb 2013
No one disputes the port shutdowns are costly and disruptive. But calculating the impact to the overall economy is an inexact science.
Crane operator in the Port of Charleston
15 Feb 2013
There's no celebration yet at East and Gulf Coast ports after a tentative accord on an ILA contract was reached. That because it's contingent on completion of supplemental local contracts.
13 Feb 2013
The tentative coastwide master contract for International Longshoremen’s Association members includes pay raises, a compr
08 Feb 2013
The International Longshoremen’s Association and its employers, which have tentatively agreed on a coastwide master contr


Typically, once a U.S. longshore negotiation is settled, the affected ports revert to a state of normalcy despite whatever disruption occurred during the talks. U.S. West Coast negotiations over the past 20 years have never been without disruption but were always followed by near-normal operations that lasted in some cases for years. The six years leading up to the June 30, 2014, expiration of the recent agreement between waterfront employers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union saw only sporadic disruption. But there is a difference between then and now: The current agreement reached on Feb. 20 failed to resolve all issues and one in particular — chassis maintenance — stands out as holding the potential for sparking further disruption and uncertainty for shippers.